City of Maquoketa agrees to settle wrongful death lawsuit for $4.5 million

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 5:34 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The city of Maquoketa and Jackson County plan to settle a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of Drew Edwards for $4.5 million after he died in police custody.

The city of Maquoketa also agreed to review the policies leading to Edwards death after he died at the hospital in June 2019 from cardiac arrest with meth, ectsasy and marijuana in his system after officers used a tazer on the man.

Body camera footage released by the family’s attorney showed a Maquoketa police officer warning Edwards to put his hands behind his back. Then, after not following the officer’s instructions, police tazed Edwards.

The same officer, along with a Jackson County sheriff’s deputy, struggled with Edwards on the ground. A Muscatine County Attorney reviewed the video and cleared the officers of criminal wrongdoing.

Dave O’Brien, the attorney for Dave Edwards family, said the body camera footage was critical to the settlement occurring.

“It showed exactly what happened,” he said. “It was in great detail and it established wrongdoing on the side of the city.”

TV9 reached out to the city of Maquoketa who said it can not comment on the settlement until it becomes official.

O’Brien said he believes if the case went to trial the family would have received more money and the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake played a part in this settlement.

“I think it was a recognition of what happened was wrong," he said. "I think it was a recognition of some changing public perception about these kinds of cases. I think those all played a role in this settlement.”

Investigators said they were attempting to arrest Edwards for an alleged assault and soon after his arrest, he began showing signs of a medical episode. Then officials said they then called for emergency medical help.

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